Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Another Example of Contemporary Research Work

The ad below is not relevant to most of us since it is for a post-doctoral position -- a research job taken by new PhDs for one or more years before taking up normal university teaching/research positions. But "post-doc" position ads are a good window on cutting edge research topics.  

This one describes a project that's representative of a new area in social science: computational modeling of culture and knowledge by a scholar who uses GIS, remote sensing, Ecological surveys, content analysis, text analysis, social network analysis, consensus analysis, fuzzy sets and qualitative comparison analysis, and statistics in her work.

The East Carolina University has a post-doctoral research associate position opening for recent Ph.D.’s with experience in social network and text analysis. The ideal candidate will have prior training in social network analysis and excellent computational skills. The candidate should demonstrate an ability to work with academic software and be comfortable using multiple social network software analysis programs that may include Ora, UCINET, or Pajek. Experience with content analysis is a plus. In addition, training in environmental anthropology/sociology, human geography, or human-environment studies is desired.  Experience working with rural livelihoods in developing countries is a plus. The position involves analyzing data and preparing publications, as well as some management of undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants will work with Dr. Jeffrey C. Johnson and Dr. Tracy Van Holt. The position is located at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The position is for one year with possible two-year extension dependent on funding and performance.
The project,A Structural Approach to the Incorporation Cultural Knowledge in Adaptive Adversary Models,” is developing culturally sensitive theories and flexible, robust and scalable computational techniques for modeling and predicting the adaptive behavior in regions of conflict. We use online data resources to model conflict. The initial domain of study will be Sudan. In particular, the research aims to (a) understand how socio-cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors can be modeled to understand conflict, (b) create and evaluate these models (c) incorporate these models into computational algorithms and tools. To this end the post-doctoral candidate will work with a multi-disciplinary team composed of decision scientists, computer scientist, anthropologists, political scientists & subject matter experts on the Sudan.  We have also assembled or gained access to data on historic events, actors, & socio-economic conditions. The project is funded by the Multi University Research Initiative (MURI) of the Office of Naval Research.
Applications including a CV and a description of past research and future research interests should be sent to Tracy Van Holt at (vanholtt@ecu.edu) with the subject heading MURI Post Doc.  Applicants might be later required to arrange for two letters of recommendation. Applications will be considered upon their reception.  Applications will be accepted immediately and the position will be open until filled.   

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